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Benedictus
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
The hymn of Zechariah, one of three songs found in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 1:68–79). The Benedictus celebrates the birth of Zechariah’s son, John the Baptist, and the fulfillment of God’s promise of salvation for Israel. Benedictus (Latin, “blessed”) is the word in the Vulgate with which Zechariah begins his prayer when his muted tongue is loosed: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel” (Luke 1:68; see also Luke 1:64). It echoes the Old Testament prophecies (Isa 40:3; Jer 23:5; 33:15; Zech 3:8; 6:12), but also contains echoes of the Psalms (Pss 106:10, 45; 105:8–9) and the rest of the Old Testament (Exod 3:12; Deut 7:14; Ruth 2:20; 1 Sam 15:13; 25:33).The origin of the Benedictus is debated—some suggest Luke depends on an oral source, while others assume Luke translates and includes the Benedictus from an Aramaic source (Machen, Virgin Birth, 4). Parallels to Sirach 51:12 have led some scholars to believe the Benedictus was written in Hebrew by a relative of Zechariah; others point out parallels with the Babylonian Shemoneh Esreh (Brown, Birth of the Messiah, 661).The Benedictus—along with the other two prayers in Luke, the Magnificat (Luke 1:46–55) and the Nunc Dimittis (Luke 2:29–32)—has been used in Christian liturgy from its earliest days and can be found in many contemporary prayer books (Hartford and Stevenson, Prayer Book, 99).
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Benedictus
Benedictus The hymn of Zechariah, one of three songs found in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 1:68–79). The Benedictus celebrates the birth of Zechariah’s son, John the Baptist, and the fulfillment of God’s promise of salvation for Israel. Benedictus (Latin, “blessed”) is the word in the Vulgate with which Zechariah
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Benedictus
BENEDICTUS. The prophetic poem in praise of God ascribed to Zachariah in Luke 1:67–79. God’s redemptive concern for the people of Israel is the dominant theme, which in turn invites consideration of the people’s appropriate response.Within the total structure of Luke 1, the poem serves as counterpoint
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
Benedictus
Benedictus (ben´uh-dik´toos; Lat., “blessed”), a traditional liturgical name for the poetic oracle attributed to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, in Luke 1:68–79. It is named for the first word in the Latin translation. According to the biblical account, Zechariah was struck dumb when he disbelieved
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
Benedictus
BENEDICTUS. The prophecy of Zechariah (Lk. 1:68–79), named from the first word in the Latin version, is one of six visions (Lk. 1:5–25, 26–38; 2:1–20), and prophecies (Lk. 1:46–56; 2:29–35) in the Lucan infancy narrative. It is a recurrent pattern in Hebrew prophecy to reflect upon or elaborate former
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Benedictus
BenedictusZechariah’s canticle (Luke 1:68–79), proclaimed at the birth of his son John the Baptist, and named for the first word in the Latin version. Like Mary’s Magnificat, it is a prophetic hymn of praise to God for his visit and his genuine covenant kindness (cf. Psalms; Isa. 9; Mal. 4; 1QM 14:4–5).
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Benedictus
Benedictus [bĕnˊə dĭkˊtəs].† Song of thanksgiving by Zechariah in response to the birth of his son John the Baptist (Luke 1:67–79). The first part of the psalm (vv. 68–75), in parallelisms characteristic of Hebrew poetry, expresses thanksgiving for God’s fulfillment of messianic promises of salvation.
Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels
Zechariah's Song
Zechariah’s songThe first two chapters of Luke’s Gospel set forth the circumstances surrounding the birth of both Jesus (see Birth of Jesus) and John the Baptist (see John the Baptist). The account is carefully crafted in the form of a diptych to display both a parallelism between the two figures and
Catholic Bible Dictionary
Benedictus, The
BENEDICTUS, THE The canticle sung by Zechariah in Luke 1:68–79 at the birth of his son, John the Baptist. The canticle contains two parts. The first part (Luke 1:68–75) praises God and expresses thanks for the redemption promised to the patriarchs and prophets and now embodied in the Messiah of the house
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
Benedictus
Benedictus. The song of thanksgiving (Lk. 1:68–79) uttered by *Zachariah at the birth of his son, St *John the Baptist. The hymn is addressed to God in thanksgiving for the fulfilment of the Messianic hopes, and to the child who is to be the Lord’s forerunner. In the W. Church it is sung liturgically
Harper’s Bible Dictionary
Benedictus, the
Benedictus, TheBenedictus, the (Latin for ‘blessed’), the poetic oracle attributed to Zechariah the father of John the Baptist in Luke 1:68–79, named for the first word in the Latin translation. According to the account, Zechariah was struck dumb when he disbelieved the angelic promise of John’s birth
A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels: Aaron–Zion
Benedictus
BENEDICTUS.—The Song of Zacharias (wh. see), preserved in Lk 1:68–79, is usually spoken of under the name familiar to us in the offices of the Church—a name derived from its opening word in the Latin version. St. Luke introduces it immediately after his narrative of the circumcision and naming of the
Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary
Benedictus
BENEDICTUS Latin word meaning “blessed.” The first word in Latin of Zacharias’ psalm of praise in Luke 1:68–79 and thus the title of the psalm. See Magnificat; Nunc Dimittis.